The Great Pause 

Earth, 2020.
A sinister virus came along,
wiping out the weak,
and exposing all that’s wrong.

Nature shook us up,
urged us to be kind.
Hushed us and questioned 
the way we lead our lives.

Dispatches from the frontlines:
“Numbers rising, many don’t survive,
help us please – stay home, be selfless, be kind”,
so, within these walls we stay confined.

But even if we listen, old habits die hard, 
and survival fears are on the cards.
Pointing fingers and shifting blame,
the Man in the High Castle plays the game.

Emergency! Emergency!
We scramble, push and shove.
It’s hand sanitiser panicked urgency 
and toilet paper wars.

Beach, please!
We’ve never cared to flatten any curves,
other than our own: 
abs tight, bums high, but never satisfied.
But little did we know –
we’ve been beach-body ready always,
from head to toe.

And look at how our bodies yearn
for the sea breeze,
and hugs,
and dancing with strangers
to loud music,
and getting lost 
in unfamiliar places.

This is it!
The Great Pause. 

9am, city centre.
u-bahn/urban warfare 
replaced by sprawling concrete.
9 am, still in bed.
Bed, couch, desk. 
A kaleidoscope of emotions.
How could you say it’s Groundhog Day,
when every day is different, a leap of faith? 

Familiarity has gone astray,
we’re grieving for the old ways –
paralysing at times,
but exhilarating all the same.

Death and life,
So closely intertwined.
We’re history in motion.
Our rebirth has arrived.

Collective trauma, collective grief –
Are we shifting or are we drifting?

Trauma begets healing,
If we so wish. 
But the only way out 
is within.

How painful it is,
to shed this old skin!
To move harmoniously with the tide,
together we must swim.

The question is: if gone tomorrow, 
what legacy will we have left behind?

Flashes of solidarity beam
Through the fixtures on the glass ceiling –
may this virus thwart lying, 
tyranny, and disingenuous living.

Let’s make it a new beginning.
No longer about greed and speed –
but one of presence, intention 
and unconditional giving.

This is the point of no return:
no more hiding from ourselves.

Elizabeth Marchetti

Elizabeth Marchetti is an Italian-Indonesian writer, poet, and sometimes-DJ, based in Berlin. Due to her mixed heritage and peripatetic lifestyle, she struggled to grasp her own identity growing up. As a youngster, she started writing poetry and lyrics to make sense of her inner conflicts. To this day, she continues to explore themes of identity, growth, and evolution in her work, which you can find on Instagram  @elizabeth_marchetti_writes and Medium

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Jan Thedja

Music hasn't managed to loosen its grip on Berlin-based selector Jan K since he listened to the likes of Mozart. and the Beatles on his Father’s stereo as a young child. Having gone on phases of listening to classical, rock, pop, punk, jazz, hip-hop and electronic music, he decided some years ago to share with people his own personal musical narrative. While his literary output has slowed down for the moment, he is increasingly sharing his music through mixes and performances, more recently with the Berlin collective l-kw. He is currently working a music project loosely based on his experience as a doctor.